Question on bends

Discussion in 'SWS Questions' started by DesmoDog, May 3, 2010.

  1. Rue

    Rue Blues Newbie

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    Thanks guys ....
    Wayne ....you're right,  more time...because I expect to be doing those bends as good as I run my bass !  I know I can do it because sometime I do get it right.

    Larry ...yes, slower is better...I thought I was going slow but I see not slow enough.
    Now I'll be able to sleep tonight    Yes !!!!   ;)
     
  2. MikeS

    MikeS Moderator... Another Man In Black.
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    Rue, It's like everything else in learning to play, time, patience and practice. I've been working BGU/BBG and SWS so I've been bending for just over a year now and I'm finally getting to the point where I'm hitting the bend more often than missing it. Although I still miss them a lot.
     
  3. TonyS

    TonyS Blues Newbie

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    Rue.  As Griff puts it in a video I have seen, can't remember which one, Eric Clapton still practises but the only think he practises now is his bends.  So if you need more practise I think you (and me) are in great company.
     
  4. Rue

    Rue Blues Newbie

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    Mike   thank you for that...I'm sure I was expecting too much too fast...  some good advise from the other guys slowed me down and that is giving me an improvement in just 2 practice sets. 

    Toni...I'll keep at it !   in a year or so I'll make another post and say I'm getting those bends 99.9 % of the time.  lol
     
  5. kgarkie

    kgarkie Been living the blues.

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    it's all by ear to know when you"ve got it right.  Glad you're getting it. 
     
  6. Rue

    Rue Blues Newbie

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    KG...I actually don't have a problem 'hearing' the correct pitch...I'm having more problem with getting my hand /wrist to do what I need it to do...but it's getting better
     
  7. Griff

    Griff Chief Cook And Bottle Washer
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    It just hasn't been long enough for you yet... but it will get there. Don't stress about it. Work on other things and just be conscious of it, but don't beat yourself up over it.

    Griff
     
  8. MandyC

    MandyC Guest

    Thanks for this thread and the vid. It's all helping. Got to switch the patience back on.
    All I need now is for my fingertips to recover ;D
     
  9. DesmoDog

    DesmoDog Desmo was my dog. RIP big guy

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    Alrighty then, time to revisit this thread. I've been practicing other things lately, in large part because the life of a high e string seems to be about ten minutes for me. They laways break at the fret I'm bending them on so it's not a bridge issue.

    Maybe I'm over-thinking this but I suspect the string is getting work hardened when I just keep bending it time and again with no rest.

    So, am I pressing against the fret too hard maybe? I'm using 009s but have been considering going up to 010s anyway so maybe this is just one more reason.

    I have a another few days before I'm supposed to post a song for the "learn a song" challenge, and then I only have two more lessons left in the BBG so it's going to be time to get back into SWS pretty soon... I guess I need to stock up on strings in the mean time!
     
  10. henryj

    henryj Blues Newbie

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    DD

    Several things I have done to increase string life.
    1. Lube the nut with Burt's bees lip balm.
    2. Lube the bridge with 3 in 1 oil (tip from the Fender web sight)
    3. Went with cousin Mikes suggestion Ernie Ball strings.  Mike was a musician for his entire life. Just recently retired.  He told me for bending life Ernie Ball period.
    4. Practiced and improved my technique for smoother bends which help increase string life.
    5. Changed to tens. I may try 9 again once my techique improves more.

    I was breaking strings every night.  Now I haven't broken one in two months.  But having said that I'll probably bust one tonight.
     
  11. stratogeezer

    stratogeezer Blues Newbie

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    I was the king of the string breakers until I changed a few things.
    First I dressed the offending frets with 350-1500 grit.
    I cut fret wide strips and use my finger as backing to remove any ridges or flat edges.
    Second I changed my bending technique.
    I was trapping the string between my bending finger and my backup finger and grinding it on the fret behind the one I was bending on.
    Third as I bend I push up trying to just lightly touch the fret instead of constantly mashing the string into the fret.
    I haven't broken a 9 on my main practice guitar in two months.
    I use cheap 9's and 10's ...2 bucks a dozen because I was breaking the premium brands right and left.
    Breaking a new string after just 30 minutes was the last straw for me.
    The high E strings will break no matter how well you treat them imo...it's just a matter of time.
    If I get a month out of a 9 I'm very happy.
    Two months is a record.
     
  12. DesmoDog

    DesmoDog Desmo was my dog. RIP big guy

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    Thanks for the suggestions. A little more info - the fret have been polished, I'm using Ernie Ball strings and the last one broke literally after about 10 minutes. I'd be quite happy to get a month out of one!

    My plan is to either change to tens or buy 9's (just the high e) in bulk until i figure out what I'm doing.
     
  13. stratogeezer

    stratogeezer Blues Newbie

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    I thought my frets were ok until I looked at them real closely with a magnifying glass coupled with a pair of reading glasses.
    They were flattening out on top and getting wavy because of my technique..or lack of one.

    10's most certainly will last longer but if you like 9's like I do I bet a change in technique will do the trick.


    JohnC suggested awhile back to grab the string from the SIDE of the fretboard and raising it up slighly during the bend as opposed to grabbing it from the top and mashing.

    You'll figure it out sooner or later ...luckily bulk strings are cheap.

    I stocked up..I have 5 dozen 9's and 2 dozen 10's...16 bucks total from MFriend.
    Then I stopped breaking them on a daily basis.
     
  14. SeattleSlim

    SeattleSlim Blues Newbie

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    Good discussion and information. I can only trust that I am going through the same period of learning and strength conditioning as most players experience in doing bends correctly.

    Little by little, the more you practice the fingers get stronger and the finger tips get tougher. So over time you find you have more control. I am not there yet, but it is like all physical conditioning. You start to notice that you do better today what you couldn't a week or two before.

    My high E string was breaking over and over. I went from .09's to .12's on my acoustic. So far so good.

    My muting skills I keep working to improve.

    What Griff in the video discusses is so true. All areas of control on the guitar, including muting and bending, for me comes in tiny, tiny adjustments and strengthening over time. By recording my practice I have been able to hear the improvement. Still not what I want to be, but there is a change for the better over time.

    These discussions alway show me that my struggles are a standard part learning to play guitar. The learning curve gets steeper, and the amount of effort to squeeze more improvement from your practice and playing increases. As you grind, the grit gets finer and finer.
     
  15. stratogeezer

    stratogeezer Blues Newbie

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    Well said Slim.